One of the leading French banks, BNP Paribas, has processed its first live payment transactions for two of its private clients using the blockchain technology.

BNP Paribas announced on Wednesday it completed its first real-time cross-border payment via the distributed ledger.

The bank processed transactions for two of its clients, packaging solutions provider, Amcor, and trading cards firm Panini. As the bank explained, it completed payments in different currencies between bank’s accounts across the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.

The process took just a few minutes, showcasing the blockchain potential to process real-time payments without errors or delays.

The news comes three months after BNP Paribas first unveiled its plans to develop new blockchain-based apps together with a number of its clients. The bank aimed at designing the next generation of Transaction Banking and Cash Management products using the distributed ledger technology. One of the initiatives, called “Cash without borders”, led to the development of this blockchain payment platform and was used for transactions processing.

“Blockchain technology applied to cross-border payments offers an innovative way of processing in near-real-time high-value transactions between different companies,” said Fabrizio Masinelli, Panini Group Treasurer.

The successful completion of the payments demonstrates the benefits of the blockchain, such as higher speed and accuracy of transactions.

“This proof-of-concept shows how powerful such technology can be and how it can be utilised as an effective and efficient response to the main issues that treasurers face on a daily basis. This great achievement was possible thanks to the collaboration between Panini’s Group Treasury teams and the various teams of BNP Paribas.”

Jacques Levet, Head of Transaction Banking EMEA at BNP Paribas Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB), stated: “This proof-of-concept demonstrates that Blockchain technology offers real opportunities to considerably improve our offer for corporate treasury managers. On the payments front, this confirms our strong commitment to follow closely and further accelerate our participation in a number of market initiatives aiming at improving the corporate payments experience using Blockchain technology.”

Not long ago, the bank opened a fintech lab at its New York headquarters to apply blockchain solutions to employee problems. The company intended to make blockchain open to all employees and provide correct information about the technology. “Many people understand blockchain, but they don’t understand the impact it will have on our business model”, Bruno d-Illier of BNP Paribas stated, adding that they want “to engage each and every staff member.”

BNP Paribas is currently Europe’s leading bank and the third biggest bank in the world. The company has more than 189,000 employees in 74 countries across the globe.

In September, the bank also teamed up with three crowdfunding providers, Lendosphere, Enerfip and Lumo, to enable its corporate clients issue mini-bonds via a private blockchain.

Among the other blockchain partnerships the bank concluded this year is a cooperation with Bank of Ireland intended to apply the distribured ledger technology in the crowdfunding sector.  The project was launched to allow private companies to issue securities on the primary market and provide investors with an access to the secondary market using blockchain technology.

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